On a sunny night in Burnaby, BC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (7W-6L-3D) finished their United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL) season in exhilarating fashion by beating Fraser Valley Mariners FC (0W-15L-1D) 2-1.
The victory also gave the ‘Caps the inaugural Juan De Fuca Plate. The plate was donated by the supporters of Whitecaps FC and Victoria Highlanders FC and is awarded to the PDL team with the best regular season record in games between each of the three British Columbia-based clubs.
The ‘Caps looked to get out to a fast start, but Fraser Valley goalkeeper Mark Village was determined to keep his squad in it. The Blue and White had two glorious scoring chances in the first half, but were denied by Village. Striker Carlos Marquez headed a ball just over the crossbar on a cross from Cam Hundal at 38 minutes.
Vancouver’s second chance came at 44 minutes when midfielder Gagandeep Dosanjh sent in fellow midfielder Kianz Froese one-on-one with the Fraser Valley 'keeper, but Village charged out to rob Froese and keep the score level at zero. Village went on stop the 'Caps on numerous more occasions throughout the evening.
Heartbreak was on the cards for Whitecaps FC midway through the second half when Fraser Valley midfielder Justin Isidro fired a cracker from 35 yards out past ‘Caps goalkeeper Nolan Wirth to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
However, on this night, the ‘Caps would prove to be too much. On 81 minutes, Hundal cut into the 18-yard box past the Fraser Valley defender and wired a shot low far post to tie the match at 1-1.
Blue and White captain Dosanjh would then put the final nail in the Fraser Valley coffin after a cross was sent into the box by Hundal. Village could only get a hand on it, as Dosanjh put the loose ball into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead which the U-23 ‘Caps would not relinquish, ending their PDL season in fine fashion, as they proudly lifted the Juan de Fuca Plate in front of over 200 home fans.
63’- FVM – Justin Isidro
81’- VAN – Katar Hundal
83’- VAN – Gagan Dosanjh
Shots: Vancouver 21 – Fraser Valley 6
Saves: Vancouver 11 – Fraser Valley 2
Fouls: Vancouver 9 – Fraser Valley 5
Corners: Vancouver 7 – Fraser Valley 2
Offsides: Vancouver 2 – Fraser Valley 5
28’ – FVM – Craig Robinson
90’ – VAN – Katar Hundal
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
1.Nolan Wirth; 11.Reynold Stewart, 4.Shawn Parkes, 2.James Farenhorst, 9.Alex Marrello; 5.Bobby Jhutty, 16.Gagandeep Dosanjh, 18.Cam Hundal, 17.Coulton Jackson (19.Sangyoon Hwang 69’), 3.Kianz Froese (12.Declan Rodriguez 54’); 6.Carlos Marquez (21.Michael Marousek 38’)
Substitutes not used: 30.Raegyn Hall, 20.Tyrin Hutchings
Fraser Valley Mariners FC
1.Mark Village; 10.Grant Fadden (20.Davin Haigh 31’), 5.Koby Byrne, 17.Nolan Moore, 3.Colton O’Neill; 16.Omar Adnani (11.Jevin Hillis 31’), 19.Justin Isidro, 23.Adrian Kekec (14.Matt Rosenlund 45’), 6.Peter Bow; 21.Craig Robinson (4.Spencer MacKinnon 61’), 12.Alex Martinez (18.Dan Molendjik 44’)
Substitutes not used: 22.Amraj Lally, 9.Geoff Kosub